Why do you think that many African cultures wait until their babies are a few months old to celebrate their arrival?

One reason for waiting to celebrate a baby's birth has to do with the high rate of death in Africa among newborns, who do not have access to the same kinds of facilities and medical treatment as babies in the U.S.

Another reason has to do with the belief in the ancestors mentioned earlier. Babies, who have recently come from the realm of the ancestors, are not considered a part of this world. If you look at a fragile newborn baby whose eyes are still unfocused, can you imagine why theYoruba might believe this?


© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
For more information please contact odyssey@emory.edu.
Last Update: